March 14 - 16, 2019
With the Edward W. Said Days, the Barenboim-Said Akademie and the Pierre Boulez Saal honor the late Palestinian literary scholar who died in 2003 and together with Daniel Barenboim created the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Said, who was also a critic, musician, and political activist, is considered one of the founders of the academic field of postcolonial studies.
Introduction to the Program
Reflections on Exile
Inspired by his own experiences, Edward W. Said throughout his life reflected on the challenges of critical thought and humanist action faced by exiles. For an introduction into Said’s world of thought, read the preface to his essay collection Reflections on Exile here.
Thursday, March 14: Displacement
To live in a place where you can never truly feel like you belong—this painful experience will be the focus of the first day of this year’s Edward W. Said Days. Mahdi Fleifel’s documentary film A World Not Ours examines a family’s permanently provisional existence in a refugee camp. In his lecture, Michael Wood focuses on the many oppositions and moments of harmony in literature and music. Finally, the sacred vocal music performed by the Tallis Scholars during their evening concert is suffused with the fervent hope of finding a secure place in the world.
Friday, March 15: Belonging - A Perpetual Loss
The second day of the Edward W. Said Days will revolve around the idea of “belonging” as something that can never be possessed but can only ever be lost. In his exhibition, photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi focuses on the quest for harmony in exile. Sa’ed Atshan’s lecture will explore the perpetually conflicted situation of the Palestinian intellectual. In the evening, a concert by the Tallis Scholars and pianist Christoph Grund will make unlikely neighbors out of a famous Renaissance musician and a contemporary Palestinian-Israeli composer.
Saturday, March 16: A Strangeness Within Familiarity
On the final day of the Edward W. Said Days 2019, the focus will be on those disorienting moments when the seemingly familiar suddenly becomes strange and uncertain. In her lecture, writer Adania Shibli examines how the movement between different languages can reveal the inner tensions within the ostensibly adorable. The concluding concert featuring students of the Barenboim-Said Akademie explores the musical phenomenon of counterpoint through works by Bach, Verdi, and Bartók.